Please Support the Coyote Valley Climate Change Overlay Zone and Development Moratorium

Photo by Derek Neuman, Santa Clara Valley Open Space Authority

On Tuesday, February 9, the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors will consider a Climate Change Overlay Zone and development moratorium for Coyote Valley. Please email the Supervisors and ask them to support these important environmental protections in Coyote Valley!

Coyote Valley Still Threatened by Development

We’ve made great strides towards protecting Coyote Valley lately. Nearly 1,000 acres of open space — more than half of all the land in North Coyote Valley — were permanently protected in 2019. And now the City of San Jose is moving towards changing their General Plan so that North Coyote Valley is designated for agriculture and open space, not industrial development. 

But development threats remain in Mid and South Coyote Valley, which are in Santa Clara County’s jurisdiction. The very changes happening in North Coyote Valley could have the unintended result of spurring new development proposals in Mid and South Coyote Valley. Recognizing this, County staff are recommending that the County move forward on creating a Climate Change Overlay Zone in Coyote Valley. This could potentially include things like limitations on size of buildings, requirements for wildlife-friendly fencing, restrictions on night-time lighting, buffer zones for wildlife corridors, or increased setback zones for creeks. It could also include incentives for conservation and farming, like funding for habitat restoration and for farming practices that increase carbon absorption into the soil. In addition to the Overlay Zone, the Supervisors will consider whether to impose a temporary moratorium on development in Coyote Valley while the Overlay Zone is being drafted.

Overlay Zone and Moratorium Are Needed To Prevent Sprawl Development

Coyote Valley is critically important for its wildlife corridors and habitat, floodplains, farmland, and ability to sequester carbon. From a climate change perspective, Coyote Valley’s unique vulnerability to widespread development that is incompatible with its natural resources and would result in suburban sprawl makes it crucial that the County take action now. Sprawl development in rural areas like Coyote Valley is one of the biggest contributors to climate change, because it forces people to drive to every destination, resulting in increased greenhouse gases. When new development is concentrated in infill areas near transit, the number of vehicle miles traveled is reduced and greenhouse gas emissions are lessened.

Please ask the Supervisors to support the climate change overlay and development moratorium!

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